Winter Texans on the decline?

HARLINGEN — Winter Texans are aging, becoming fewer in number, and are not being replaced by their sons and daughters.

That’s the conclusion of the latest University of Texas Rio Grande Valley study which has been conducted every two years since 2006.

It mirrors the results of the last survey, too.

The Winter Texan remains a critical component of the Rio Grande Valley’s economic base, despite their declining numbers. For instance, the latest survey finds Winter Texans have an economic footprint in the Valley of $760 million annually, the highest dollar figure ever except for the $803 million impact in 2009-2010.

“Winter Texans are aging, and we’re having the same number of first-time Winter Texans, which indicates they’re not being replaced by new Winter Texans, just the same people who come back every year,” said Penny Simpson, a professor of marketing in UTRGV’s College of Business and Entrepreneurship.

The findings of the survey conducted by the Business and Tourism Research Center at UTRGV come as no surprise to Simpson or to businesses in the Valley that rely on Winter Texans.

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So, who is the average Winter Texan?

– Age: 72.3 years

– Married: 83.5 percent

– Caucasian 98.3 percent

– Retired for more than one year:

88.9 percent

– Male: 51.7 percent

– Household income: 56.7 percent have an annual household income between $30,000 and $70,000, with an average income of $65,000

Source: 2016 Winter Texan Survey